The secret was well locked in a chest whose key had been thrown into a bottomless pit.
A secret held since May 8, by the owner of island women Henri Bonino. That day, the Ponettes were playing in the round of 16 of the French Federal 2 championship.
If successful, the Corsican team, beyond reaching the quarter-finals, validated its ticket for the Federal 1 championship.
Only on May 8, against Colomiers, the Ponettes conceded their only defeat of the season by a very small point difference.
Clap of end on a season marked, until then, by a faultless.
Dominating in their championship for the long seasons, the Ponettes failed in port. Yet even before this round of 16 hope, certainly tenuous, did exist insofar as certain formations had already announced their desire to refuse accession to F1.
We had to wait for the formalization of this decision, which took place a few days ago, as coach Henri Bonino said: “we knew that this possibility was there and when we were very officially offered access to the F1 championship, we accepted. We had good reasons for doing so, first of all in sport because we achieved a very good season and then I think it was time to take the plunge because we had to get out of this cycle of F2 meetings or risk seeing some players put an end to their career”.
Start of the championship in October
Getting into F1 is also a change of universe of which Henri Bonino is well aware: “ We will join a group of seven teams, the trips will also be longer because we will go to Toulouse, Gaillac. Of course the level will be much higher with the start of the competition set for the beginning of October. It is of course a legitimate joy to undertake at this level in view of the efforts of recent seasons. Now we know, too, that it’s a more demanding championship.”.
And to face this new competition, the group of Henri Bonino should include a workforce of 33 players. A workforce within the Andorran Erika Maldonado as well as Laura de Logu should no longer appear. Conversely, the Ponettes had to register the arrivals of players from across the Mediterranean but also from the local pool.
So that’s it, but that had already been the case for a few seasons, the Ponettes more than ever the flag bearer of island rugby by reaching the Federal 1 championship.